Whitechapel lights up with artwork to mark Bangladesh independence

Giant Bangla artwork at the Idea Store library

Giant Bangla artwork at the Idea Store library - Credit: Kois Miah

A giant Bangla light sculpture has been unveiled in Whitechapel to mark 50 years of Bangladesh independence. 

Artist Ruhul Abdin has created the installation in fabric and suspended it in the façade of the Idea Store library building.  

He worked with researchers at the Tower Hamlets Archives in Mile End to explore the significance of the 1971 independence movement that led to the breakaway war with West Pakistan. 

Mayor John Biggs and Cllr Sabina Akhtar unveiling Bangla artwork

Mayor John Biggs and Cllr Sabina Akhtar unveiling Bangla artwork - Credit: Kois Miah

The artwork was unveiled by the mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, and his cabinet member for arts Sabina Akhtar.

“We're showing this important part of our history in this art installation,” Cllr Akhtar said. “The War of Independence was a significant moment for thousands of East Enders when Bengali communities lobbied in support of the struggle back home.”  

Illuminated Bangla art instillation for Bangladesh 50th anniversary

Illuminated Bangla art instillation for Bangladesh 50th anniversary - Credit: Kois Miah


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The artwork is on show until early next year. An exhibition also tells the story of the Bengali language riots which sparked the war.

A public event is planned at the Idea Store to mark the 50th anniversary in December.

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